How to Build a Complete Fendi Bag Collection
Fendi is having a moment. While it lingered in relative obscurity for a time, it’s come raging back to life with celebrities in head-to-toe Fendi logos and streetwear-infused collections. And though monogram fever has propelled the house into the limelight for now, its handbags are as timeless as ever. This past year, demand for Fendi on The RealReal has grown 89% (largely thanks to the resurgence of the cult classic Baguette), and we can see why. Handbag Valuation Manager Kiara Cooper has schooled us on how to buy your first designer bag, predicted the It styles of 2019 and helped us find our perfect road-trip carry-all. Now, she walks us through the essential Fendi bags you need in your collection.
Step One: Start With Vintage Zucca
Every good handbag collection needs a solid foundation, so why not start at the beginning? “No Fendi bag collection is complete without vintage Zucca,” says Cooper. “For a monogram that’s had such staying power, you might be surprised to learn that it reportedly only took Karl Lagerfeld three seconds to design.” While Zucca — now FF — was used from its inception in 1966, it was not until the ‘80s and ‘90s that the monogram made it big in the fashion world. “After Zucca bags began to trend, the monogram was suddenly all over clothing, shoes and even home goods,” she says.
Like any good monogram piece, Zucca bags are the perfect neutral. “Zucca is more versatile than you might think,” notes Cooper. “The tobacco colorway and the sleek silhouettes of vintage bags are classic, even thirty to forty years after they were originally produced.” Cooper’s tip for spotting the real deal? “On Zucca pieces, the two Fs should never intersect, interlock or touch.”
The revival of Fendi has also had a direct affect on Zucca in the secondary market. “Recent logomania — or should I say Fendimania — has really helped to bring the resale value for vintage Zucca up,” explains Cooper. “We’ve seen resale prices rise $150-$250 in the last few years, depending on style. Vintage Zucca shoulder bags and totes are the most sought-after, and I highly recommend them for first-time vintage buyers.”
Step Two: Double Down On Logos With The Kan I F
Any good collection shows range. Balance out your FFs with the boxy Kan I F, which sports a newer logo and clean, ladylike shape. “The Kan collection debuted during Fendi’s Resort 2017 show, so it’s still relatively new,” explains Cooper. “The original, with its scalloped edges and stud closure, encompasses Fendi’s fun and whimsical aesthetic. Since then, the collection has expanded to include the Kan 1 F and Kan U.” The Kan I F also features an abstract F logo, which harkens back to the 3Baguette style from 2016.
“Most bags within the Kan collection feature two carrying options,” says Cooper. “You can use the shorter strap and throw the Kan over your shoulder, or — if your Kan bag includes a chain strap — you can wear it crossbody, a great option for all-day outings and special occasions.”
You may also see its resale value grow in the coming years. “As the Kan collection grows in popularity, many wonder whether it will be reach the ranks of the Fendi Baguette,” adds Cooper. “Currently, Kan bags maintain anywhere from 40% to 70% of their original retail price, depending on condition and style.”
Step Three: Indulge Your Fendi Mania
If you love a good story, then the tale of how Fendi Mania came to be is one for the books. “Creative Director Silvia Venturini Fendi was scrolling through Instagram when she came across a Fendi-Fila mashup by artist Hey Reilly,” says Cooper. “Venturini Fendi loved it, messaged Hey Reilly directly and collaborated with him on the Fall/Winter ‘18 collection and subsequent Fendi Mania capsule collection. The power of social media!”
Though Fendi and FILA are two very different Italian brands, the recent streetwear-luxury crossover solidified the two as a match made in heaven. “While it’s an homage to beloved Italian sportswear label FILA, you’ll still find that Fendi did not skimp on its high-quality craftsmanship. And in my opinion, there’s no such thing as too much Fendi. Don’t be afraid to pair Fendi Mania bags with all-over FF dresses, skirts or pants for some major logo action.”
Many pieces of the Fendi Mania capsule were limited edition, and can only be found in the resale market. “Those on the hunt for a Fendi Mania bag — or even those looking to consign — should know that they hold a resale value up to 80% of their original price,” says Cooper. “The most in-demand styles are the Mania Mon Trésor, shopping tote and waist bag. So once you fall for one, buy it as soon as possible.”
Step Four: Invest In A Baguette
No handbag collection is complete without the one and only Fendi Baguette. “The Baguette was co-designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi and Maria Grazia Chiuri (Dior’s current creative director) in 1997,” says Cooper. “Venturini Fendi envisioned women carrying the bag under their arms like its namesake, the French Baguette. Unlike many bags that were popular at the time of its creation, it was small and — with the help of a short shoulder strap — could be carried right under the arm.”
The Baguette found its claim to fame on Sex and the City, and was part of the family of Dior Saddles and other It bags with long waitlists at department stores. “While it fell out of fashion for a time, I don’t think it will ever truly be out of style,” admits Cooper. And the Baguette has made a true comeback due to a restored love of logos and appetite for ‘90s and ‘00s-era trends. Early this year, the excitement returned when Fendi released a fresh batch of Baguettes, though on the question of vintage versus new, Cooper hesitates to pass judgment. “I think that’s a personal preference,” she confesses. “With vintage Baguettes, there’s history behind them. You can find fun variations of them that are hard to come by, and that makes them special. I do love the new Baguettes because of the slightly updated, structured silhouette. The recent iterations also feature two shoulder straps, allowing you to carry them crossbody or over the shoulder.”
Prices for the Baguette have soared in the resale market, so it’s best to snag them before they skyrocket further. “This time last year, Fendi Zucca Baguettes at The RealReal sold anywhere between $325-$395,” notes Cooper. “Today, we’re able to list them as high as $745.”
Step Five: Go Wild With The Monster Collection
One of Fendi’s most overlooked and playful lines is the Monster collection, which speaks to the house’s heritage as a furrier (little-known fact: FF stands for Fun Fur). “These pieces originally debuted in the Fall 2013 collection with keychains and bag charms known as Bag Bugs,” says Cooper. “The Bag Bugs feature mink and fox fur mini-monster faces, and even come with their own respective names. Soon they invaded handbags, backpacks, shoes and ready-to-wear and became ‘Monsters.’”
Cooper warns buyers to inspect the details when looking for authentic Fendi Monster bags. “The fur should be soft and plush,” she advises, “and if it feels brittle or you’re unable to see guard hairs, which are longer, coarse hairs that protect the underfur, it may be faux fur. This is a sign of an inauthentic piece, as Fendi’s bags currently only use real fur.” The Monster collection includes everything from mini-bags and Peekaboos to shoes and ready-to-wear, so why settle for just one style? “Attach the Monster Micro Baguette to your Monster Peekaboo for a play on size,” muses Cooper. “The world is too serious sometimes. Live a little!”
All items are pre-owned and consigned to The RealReal. Trademarks are owned by their respective brand owners. No brand owner endorses or sponsors this ad or has any association and/or affiliation with The RealReal.
Please note, brand standards, logos and other identifying features may have changed since the time of publication.